iOS 13.3.1 Now Available

After a long period without new releases, Apple finally launched iOS 13.3.1. The new software update enhances privacy by allowing iPhone 11 users to disable ultra-wideband (UWB) networking.

By Chand Bellur

January 28, 2020 at 7:39 p.m. PDT

iOS 13.3.1 Available for Installation

Apple’s newest mobile operating system just got newer. iOS 13.3.1 is out and, for a minor release, it adds some major features.

The new iPhone software update allows users to turn off UWB networking. Doing so will prevent Apple from tracking you even when Location Services are turned off.

Additionally, iOS 13.3.1 fixes a defect in Apple’s new Communication Limits feature. The feature, designed to give parents control over their children’s devices, came with a defect allowing access to Contacts without the Screen Time passcode. With the fix in place, parents using the Communications Limits feature should install the new update soon.

iOS 13.3.1 Fixes Several Security Issues

As with virtually all iOS releases, Apple’s latest software update fixes a whole slew of security defects. The release notes only tell part of the story. Apple keeps some defects and fixes secret, as they may compromise security by revealing too much about the operating system and device.

What’s known is not surprising or shocking to anyone who has worked in the software industry. The defects are relatively minor, due mostly to iOS’s growing complexity.

One fix addresses a defect where users with two cellular plans would end up using the wrong cellular provider if they initiated a call with Siri. Another defect allowed third-party apps to “gain elevated privileges”. In other words, a developer could access either data or API calls that are only meant for use by Apple. This isn’t a major issue, as the App Store vetting process would likely detect such intrusions.

There are numerous other small defects and security issues solved in this release. Apple is quite transparent about defects and bug fixes. It makes for an interesting read. For more information, please visit Apple’s support website.

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